April 27, 2011

On why I could do without living in Texas, sometimes

I live in Dallas.
Parental units reside outside of Houston.
That is 4.5-hour distance by vehicle.  It’s been up to 6 with traffic.
I drive it often.
An attractive route I-45 i not, but it gets the job done.

Picture me driving along with the two Natives in the backseat.  One is being very well behaved and lying down on her pillow.  The other is damned and determined to jump over the console and into the front seat.  Her rancid breath would make wallpaper peel off walls (she's now 12-years old bless her heart).  It's 90-degrees outside and the car is trying to stay cool as we blow through Houston.  Needless, she’s panting and the putrid smells are being expelled from her snout and wafting into the front drivers seat where I am trying to concentrate on the drive.  Hard to do when you can't determine if the smells in the backseat are coming from your own beagle or the landfill you are passing by.

And then we hit Navarro County.  The skies look ominous, but that’s just spring in Texas; except that my radio starts beeping with a weather emergency prompt.  

“BEEP.  BEEP.  BEEP.  This is a warning from the National Weather Service. Tornadoes detected in Navarro County.  3 miles south of Corsicana.”

Holy Joseph, Mary and Jesus.  I just entered Navarro county per the mile markers that I keep wishing would pass faster.  I am 10 miles due south of Corsicana.

And then it happens.  The clouds start to form into mean and daunting shapes right in front of me.  They start to group together and are blowing by fast as I am now white knuckling the steering wheel.

I decide to pull over, but where?  The only life existence near me is an old beaten down Texas Burger fast food chain and a dilapidated Exxon station.  Neither look safe, but I have no option.  I follow the rest of the cars to the most immediate exit still trying to watch both the road and the clouds above. 

And then I see one.  One of those things I only thought were made for the Weather Channel.  A vehicle marked TORNADO CHASERS with a team of experts pulling out equipment and binoculars alongside I-45.

Damn.  So the threat of a twister in the area is real.

Breathing becomes labored.  Nerves are now shot.  What if my car gets swept away like the cows did in the move Twister?  They say pull over into a ditch, but honestly that sounds about as smart as shoving ice picks into my eyeballs.  Not going to happen.  One of the Natives is about to shit herself in the back seat.  The other is still trying to jump over the console and oblivious to my sensitivities.

We pulled over and waited out the storm.  Went inside of the dilapidated fast food joint with The Natives and prayed the roof stayed on the building just long enough to keep us protected.

Storm passed.
I saw no twister(s).
Thank Gawd.
We continued the drive north and were greeted by sunny skies and a rainbow as we entered the greater Dallas area.

Go figure.


  1. Holy schnikes. That is insane. We had a small tornado, or burst come through Maine a few years back, and happened to drive by the area this spring. Trees were uprooted, tossed anywhere. It was nuts. Glad you're okay. I'm amazed at what we have been going through this spring in terms of weather. Crazy.

  2. Now that is a story!

    I think it's cool the Natives were inside the restaurant.

  3. So scary. Mother Nature and her anger are both awe inspiring (like your pics) and terrifying. Glad you made it out okay :)

  4. Oh my gosh! That sounds terrifying! So glad you're okay and that the fast food place let your pups in. I'd forgotten how scary tornadoes can be since it's been so long since I've lived in GA. At least with earthquakes, you don't know they're coming! haha